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Day of the Covenant. Baháʼí annual commemoration on 4 Qawl (Speech) the fourteenth of nineteen months of nineteen days of the 1844 Badíʻ calendar. It celebrates Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God), the noble Persian religious leader who founded the Baháʼí Faith, appointing His son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (the Servant of Bahá) as the One to whom His followers should turn after His passing. The holiday was originally known as the Jashn-i-Aʻzam (The Greatest Festival), as ʻAbdu’l-Bahá was known as the Greatest Branch, but in the West the Holy Day became known as the Day of the Covenant, one of the two Baháʼí holy days when work need not be suspended. The Bahá’í Holy Days are set according to a solar calendar commencing with the Spring Equinox. However the Holy Days marking the birthdays of the Báb, the founder of Bábism and one of the central figures of the Baháʼí Faith similar to John the Baptist in Christianity, and his follower Bahá’u’lláh are set according to a lunar calculation. Image: bahaiblog.net.

St. Catherine of Alexandria

St Catherine of Alexandria (Katherine of Alexandria, St Catherine of the Wheel, The Great Martyr Saint Catherine, Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲕⲁⲧⲧⲣⲓⲛ, ἡ Ἁγία Αἰκατερίνη ἡ Μεγαλομάρτυς, Holy Catherine the Great Martyr, Catharina Alexandrina) (c287-c305). Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism celebration for the Alexandrian princess, virgin and noted scholar who became a Christian after a vision of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The emperor and his Pagan philosophers could not answer her pro-Christian arguments and Catherine was scourged and imprisoned, angels tending her wounds. Denied food, she was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ visited her to encourage her to fight bravely, promising her the crown of everlasting glory. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but at her touch it shattered and so she was martyred by beheading in Alexandria around 305. The development of her medieval cult was due to the rediscovery of her body five hundred years later at Mount Sinai, with hair still growing and with a healing oil. Mount Sinai Monastery was the main site of Catherine pilgrimages but it was difficult to reach and many scattered shrines and altars were dedicated to her, including those at Canterbury and Westminster. Catherine had a large female following, whose devotion was less likely to be expressed through pilgrimage. In 1425, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counselled her. St Catharine’s College, Cambridge was founded on St Catharine’s Day 1473, for a small community of scholars who would exclusively study theology and philosophy. Catharine’s principal symbol is the spiked wheel, which has become known as the Catherine wheel, as has the pyrotechnic wheel. Major shrine Saint Catherine’s Monastery (Sacred Autonomous Royal Monastery of Saint Katherine of the Holy and God-Trodden Mount Sinai) at the foot of Mount Sinai. In Catholicism, Catherine is revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers but her Feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, although restored in 2002 as an optional memorial. Polish, Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches celebrate St Catherine on 24 November and the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr on her Feast Day of 24 or 25 November, depending on the regional tradition, whilst her Feast Day is 7 December in Orthodox churches of Russian background. Patron of unmarried girls, Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel, potters, spinners, archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, Balliol College, Massey College, maidens, mechanics, millers, milliners, hat-makers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, theologians, University of Oviedo, University of Paris, haberdashers, wheelwrights, Żejtun and Żurrieq, Malta, Katerini, Greece, Grude, Bosnia and Herzegovina, many towns in The Philippines and University of Santo Tomas. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.

Prayer Lord God, we thank You for giving us Your martyr St Catherine of Alexandria as an example of holiness. Help us to imitate the deep love for You that led her to become a Christian despite the persecution she knew she might face. Pray that we may actively choose to love God, as she did. Amen

Isaac Watts | Christian History

Isaac Watts (Godfather of English Hymnody ) (1674-1748). Church of England and Lutheran Commemoration of the death of the Hampshire Congregational Christian minister, hymnwriter, theologian and logician, best known for his hymns When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Joy to the World and O God, Our Help in Ages Past.  He wrote 750 hymns and many remain in use today, having been translated into numerous languages. His classical education included learning Latin, Greek and Hebrew but he could not attend Oxford or Cambridge, as he was a nonconformist and these universities were restricted to Anglicans, as were government positions at the time. He went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in London. He preached his first sermon in 1698 and a year later he became the assistant pastor of the large independent Mark Lane Congregational Chapel in the City. His religious opinions were more nondenominational or ecumenical than was common for a nonconformist Congregationalist and he had a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship than in preaching for any particular sect. He introduced a new way of rendering the Psalms in verse for church services, proposing that they be adapted for hymns with a specifically Christian perspective. Watts’ Logic became the standard text on logic at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, being used at Oxford for well over one hundred years. After his death in Stoke Newington on 25 November 1748, his papers were given to Yale University in the Colony of Connecticut that nonconformist Puritans and Congregationalists had established. Episcopal Church Commemoration is 26 November. Image: christianitytoday.com.